Becoming a successful landlord requires a lot more effort than chasing after tenants for rent payments and doing a few quick fixes around your property. In fact, you absolutely need to become a great landlord if you want your real estate portfolio to succeed. Your income potential depends on your ability to effectively manage your properties.
If you are serious about improving your results, here are 10 ways to become an amazing landlord.
1. Emotionally Divest From Your Properties
Sometimes after landlords buy a property, they start to see themselves living there or becoming attached to features of the property. While it might be hard to let go, it's absolutely critical that you emotionally divest from your properties. Instead, focus on your financial plan and management strategy to ensure that your investment will actually pay off.
2. Find the Right Tenants
You have a continuous job to do when you have tenants to keep them happy. However, it's even more important that you find the right ones in the first place. Improve your online presence and work on making sure that your marketing attracts tenants that are the right fit for your property.
3. Live Nearby
When it comes to real estate, location is everything. As a landlord, it's doubly important because living close to your rental units will make them much easier to manage.
4. Build Your Network
If you plan to become successful in real estate, you can't go it alone. You need to build a network a trusted experts that can help you at every step. Find a real estate attorney who can help you with the legal stuff. Develop a strong relationship with a real estate agent who can help you find new investment properties.
5. Know the Law
Even if you have a real estate attorney, you can still benefit from staying on top of federal, state, and local laws. Laws continuously change and you should always know what the local regulations say with regard to tenant responsibilities.
6. Make a Plan
You have a lot of steps to complete when you manage rental properties. From searching for the right property to completing the purchase and readying the property for tenants, make sure that you have a plan with a clear timeline so that you can stay on track.
7. Draw Up Your Leases Carefully
There is no point in having a lease at all if the terms are open to misinterpretation by tenants. Drawing up a badly worded lease usually means that you'll end up spending time in court later on. Making sure that your lease communicates your responsibilities as a landlord, and those of the tenant, effectively is the best way to build your business reputation.
8. Have Tenants Pay Rent Online
With property management software, you can set it up so that you tenants can pay rent online automatically. These platforms also have built-in accounting features. This makes it easy and convenient for tenants to pay rent and will help you stay on top of your cash flow.
9. Keep Up With Maintenance and Inspections
Your property management budget should include a safety net for repairs and maintenance. When you don't need repairs, you should still make sure to perform inspections and upgrades regularly to ensure that your property is up to state or city building codes.
10. Keep Good Records
Lastly, being a successful landlord requires that you keep track of all of your important paperwork and records. From receipts for purchases to logs of when you've conducted various maintenance tasks, make sure that you know where that information is so that you can grab it as needed. This will make it easier to file your taxes, with regards to documenting deductions, and will ensure that can provide evidence in the event of a legal concern.